Here’s another survey, described in this article. This one’s about political independents, with more good data-like stuff to be found here. This table seems to suggest that the proportion of independents has grown at the expense of the Democrats, which would seem to make the Democratic leanings of the independents almost entirely explicable. But I’m sure it’s more complicated than that.
One point the WaPo story makes is that independents are more heavily male than either Republicans (evenly divided between men and women) and Democrats (more female). They’re also a relatively secular group. Here’s an hypothesis: as conservative men migrated from the Democrats, the economic conservatives/small government types tended to end up as independents, while the moral/religious conservatives ended up as Republicans. The former have been joined by some social liberal/economic conservatives migrating from the Republicans. These comprise the "dislocated" among the independents.
It’s late (or early, depending upon how you look at it), and I’m hoping my insomnia has passed. More much later (a busy day ahead).